Dramatic rise in collarbone injuries in GAA

The number of claims for collarbone surgery/treatment in Gaelic games has risen dramatically in the last four years.

From 81 claims in 2016, the 2018 injury summary report revealed 186 cases were filed

Of the 6,233 injury applications made in the GAA last year, knee issues accounted for 1,930 of them with ankle next (538) followed by shoulder (531), leg (427), hip (314), finger (280) and teeth (201).

Collarbone is next in the list and its incredible rise will be a concern, particularly in youth hurling where it has jumped from five cases in 2016 to 24 last year. 

The numbers have more than doubled across adult football and hurling from 2016 while youth football numbers are now reading 31 compared to 12 in ‘16.

After just two claims for ear operations three years ago, there were 29 across the board last year. 

In 2016, there were 37 compared to 55 last year and there has been little difference in the number of hurlers at adult and under-age level claiming for teeth issues. 

Hip surgery is also more common across both codes with 314 cases in 2018 in contrast to 235 in 2015 but they have come down considerably among teenagers - 19 last year whereas there were 77 in 2014.

Knee claims decreased to below the 2,000 mark from 2,251 in 2017 and 2,243 in 2016. 

Part of the reason for that may be education and the expanse of the GAA 15 warm-up programme aimed to help prevent lower limb injuries.

At Wednesday’s annual finance report launch, GAA director of finance Ger Mulryan expressed concern at the €6.5m per annum that is spent on insurance and the player injury fund. 

In 2018, €7.9m was paid out to injury players, over €1m more than 2017. A total of €45m has been paid out over the last five years.

Leinster not surprisingly accounted for the most injury claims with 2,431 (39%) followed by Munster 1,493 (24%), Ulster 1,436 (23%) and Connacht 873 (14%). 

Leinster has the most registered adult and youth teams 2,431 (38%) with Munster again next at 33%, Ulster 17% and Connacht 12%.

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